SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Gold FC took care of business at home Saturday, using a dominant first half to earn a 3-1 win over the San Francisco Stompers at Capital Christian High School.
Nate Nugen, playing his first game at forward for Sacramento, wreaked havoc all game. His opening goal and later assist highlighted a dominant effort up top. Danny Lomeli was dangerous down the right side all game, though his goal came from the middle. Abrahm Prado had the one of the Gold’s prettiest goals all season.
Jacob Talarman netted San Francisco’s lone goal.
Nugen opened the scoring in the eighth minute after receiving a thrown-in and driving down the left side of the box. Nugen cut back inside and poked the ball by Stompers goalkeeper Isiah Castro to make it 1-0.
In the 19th minute, Fernando Cabadas played the ball to Andrew Robles, who fired a shot from the top of the box. Robles’ shot deflected off a defender, right to Lomeli all alone in front of goal. Lomeli calmly slotted the ball in the right corner of the goal to the double the Gold lead to 2-0.
Sacramento made it 3-0 in the 35th minute thanks to a lovely ball from Nugen, who sent in a cross from the right edge of the box. Prado ran in from the left side and hammered it on a volley to the right of Castro and into the net.
San Francisco managed to cut it to 3-1 in the 59th minute. Talarman recovered a ball punched out of the box by Gold goalkeeper Max Herrera and slotted the rebound past the Sacramento defense.
Cabadas nearly got the Gold on the board two minutes earlier than Nugen. In the sixth minute, Cabadas sent a cross into the box from the right side. Cabadas’ cross sailed right, just going outside of the upper left corner of the net.
Lomeli also came up with a solid effort shortly before scoring. Carving the defense on the right side, Lomeli cut to the right side of the inside box and fired a shot. However, his effort was right at Castro, who made the save in the 16th minute.
Two minutes after Lomeli’s goal, Prado plated Eliot Chambers up the middle for what looked like a dangerous chance at goal. Prado’s pass was a foot too long for Chambers to catch up with.
A minute later, Lomeli sent a probing ball into the box from the left side. However, no teammates were near the area to capitalize.
The Stompers’ first dangerous opportunity came off a free kick in the 26th minute. Joel Sandoval’s kick lofted into the box before bouncing left of the penalty spot. San Francisco could not get on the end of it and Herrera cleaned it up off the bounce.
Sacramento thought it had added a third in the 30th minute, when Nugen played a ball from the right to Fernando De Alba in the middle. Despite De Alba hitting it in off the pass, the linesman ruled De Alba to have been offside.
In the 34th minute, Nugen took a ball over the top and nearly got off a dangerous shot. However, Benito Ramirez slid in to poke the ball away before Nugen could fire. Nugen made up for the near-opportunity a minute later with his assist to Prado.
Nugen got another opportunity in the 41st minute. From the right side, Chambers lofted a ball up the middle to Nugen, who one-timed it past Castro. However, Nugen’s effort was over the crossbar.
San Francisco came out with a close effort to begin the second half. In the 46th minute, Sandoval was played into a one-on-one chance against Herrera, who was able to make the tough save/
Padge McCullough, who came on for Chambers at halftime, had a pair of good chances to respond to Talarman’s goal. In the 62nd minute, Nugen sent a through ball up the middle, where McCullough had a run at goal. His shot was saved by substitute keeper Marcos Rojas and deflected out for a corner kick.
Two minutes later, Lomeli sent in a dangerous ball into the box from the right side. Unfortunately for Sacramento, it was inches too far in front of McCullough, as it was claimed to Castro.
Neither team had another dangerous chance until much later in the game. In the 88th minute, Talarman got his head on a cross, but his bid for a second goal went just wide of the right post.
His chance was sandwiched between two efforts by Ali Radmand, who replaced Nugen minutes earlier. In the 85th minute, Robles played Radmand up the middle for a one-on-one. However, to the chagrin of the home crowd, his shot was stopped by Rojas.
Just after Talarman’s header, Josue Araiza sent a ball into Radmand from the right of the box. However, Radmand could not get a foot on the effort.
Sacramento will now prepare for a highly anticipated matchup against rival Sonoma County Sol that will have a profound impact on all Golden Gate Conference playoff scenarios. The battle between the two rivals will commence at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 6 at Capital Christian High School.
LINEUPS/SUBSTITUTIONS: Sacramento Gold FC: G Max Herrera (Andres Olmedo 84’), D Rene Piña, Fernando De Alba (Josue Araiza 69’), Erick Vega, Danny Mititelu, M Andrew Robles, Fernando Cabadas (Zach Ulrich 77’), Abrahm Prado (Edric Soltero 65’), Danny Lomeli, F Nate Nugen (Ali Radmand 81’), Eliot Chambers (Padge McCullough 46’)
San Francisco Stompers: GK Isiah Castro (Marcos Rojas 46’), D Joel Castillo, Luis Castillo, Morgan Jackson, Christian Mendoza (Armando Camacha 46’), M Eder Guzman, Benito Ramirez, Michael Ten Pow (Isaac Villafan 23’), Joel Sandoval, F Isaiah Dairo (Jury Da Silva 53’), Jacob Talarman
SCORING SUMMARY: SAC – Nate Nugen (Unassisted) 8’
SAC – Danny Lomeli (Andrew Robles) 19’
SAC – Abrahm Prado (Nate Nugen) 35’
SFS – Jacob Talarman (Unassisted) 59’
DISCIPLINE: SAC – Fernando De Alba (Hard Foul) 25’